Navistar program to strengthen connections with TEMs

by John G. Smith

“This industry goes through TEMs and dealers,” says Mark Stasell, vice president – vocational truck business.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – International has unveiled its new Diamond Partner program to establish closer connections to Truck Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs).

Support will include free access to Diamond Logic Builder software, engineering guidance, custom engineering support, and other resources to support body integrations. In just 1-1/2 weeks, 50 partners have already been secured.

“This industry goes through TEMs and dealers,” says Mark Stasell, vice president – vocational truck business. Increasing collaboration between the two groups are believed to be a secret to success. “We believe we’re off to a really fast start.”

The interactions begin with an application engineer assigned to each account, offering expertise in applications and chassis alike. The manufacturers will also have access to joint customer events such as VIP tours of Navistar headquarters or ride and drives.

Fees have been waived for the Diamond Logic training and builder software, which will also be set up for automatic renewals. And a cross-functional spec’ing of the chassis will evaluate orders and offer ways to reduce costs, improve delivery times, and optimize vehicles.

“Some of the simple things I look at is why are you drilling all the holes in the frame to mount your bodies. We should be pre-punching those holes for you,” Stasell says, referring to the way this will ensure holes are also e-coated.

“You’re moving things on the chassis that maybe we could set a feature code up and move those for you. Also, maybe you’re doing hard wiring into the IP, putting your own switches in. Gee, can we have you use our Diamond Logic and our switches? Because then it’s more reliable — those switches are all covered by factory warranty, and also we could probably do some safety interlocks.”

While some larger TEMs already do such things, this program will roll out the support on a massive scale, he says, referring to the important connections with the dealer network. Most sales in the vocational segment are for between one and five units. “In this business, there’s not a lot of whales to hunt.”

The program builds on Navistar’s increasing focus on the vocational business. A new extended warranty plan, for example, will offer A26 engine and aftertreatment support for four years and 160,000 km at less than the cost of a warranty for some cars.

The manufacturer says it has doubled the share of severe-duty truck orders that were secured at this time last year, and gained six points in its medium-duty market share.

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